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Repudiate the Debt Campaign An appeal to the Irish people May 31, 2012

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We have a choice: starve––emigrate––or resist

Today our people will be voting on the “Fiscal Stability Treaty”––the permanent austerity treaty––we would like to put forward a number of points for you to consider before you vote. All of us have been affected one way or another by the imposition of the massive socialised corporate debt placed on our shoulders by the EU and ECB in co-operation with the main political parties in this state.

We are paying a very heavy price with cuts in services. You may have experienced them directly yourself, or know people who have been affected, in the areas of health, education, welfare, pensions, medical cards, and wages.

Every citizen, from the very youngest to the oldest, has to pay back and is responsible for €41,000 of the “national” debt at present levels. That can only grow as more of our able-bodied citizens feel impelled to leave our country to look for work and a future. We simply cannot afford the price of the present “bail-out” and the toll it is taking on all of us.

So all the talk about voting Yes so that we can obtain further funding––i.e. borrowing more money from the EU-ECB loan sharks or from the international finance houses––is simply not an option. We cannot afford the repayments. It is a simple fact that 4½ million people cannot pay €150 billion in debt, which is growing daily.

This treaty would make debt repayment and debt management the primary policy of the government. No matter how much money will be in the government’s kitty, the first priority would be to service the debt; all other matters are secondary.

By putting it into law they hope to close off all other options that the people may wish to choose, such as repudiating this odious and unbearable debt. So whoever we may wish to vote for in the future, if we vote Yes we will be handcuffing ourselves, our children and our grandchildren for generations to come to only one solution.

So before you vote today ask yourself: Do you wish to remain in debt servitude? Do you wish to turn yourself and your family into bonded labour, whose duty is to pay a debt that is not yours and will most probably be added to if the political establishment and their masters in Berlin impose a second “bail-out” on us?

We can stand up as a people and demand that the debt be dumped off our backs, stand as a free people, or we can lurk in the shadows and watch as others decide our future, telling us what we can or cannot do.

Newsnight 30th May – Greece Ireland & Euro crisis May 31, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Economy, European Politics.
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Includes Paul Krugman on various subjects.

Ireland is covered from 40 minutes 30 seconds .

What you want to say… Referendum Day special… 31st May 2012 May 31, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

No embargo for us yesterday, a chairde! And today say what you like (as originally suggested by Dr. X) – any thoughts, information, observations about the vote, voting patterns, atmosphere and attitudes at the polling places – or as usual whatever you like feel free.

An economist discusses ‘all this bulls*** of 20 years of austerity’… May 31, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

There’s a small anecdote from the SBP on a pro-Treaty meeting addressed by Lucinda Creighton and others.

Economist Colm McCarthy dismissed the arguments of the No campaigners. There was a loud laugh from the audience as McCarthy recalled driving down the country last week and noticing that some “geezer” had a poster up saying “Vote No to Water Charges”.
“All this bulls*** of 20 years of austerity is not true,” the economist explained, “austerity means you are cutting the budget deficit. Once it is cut enough, you don’t need to cut anymore.”

That sounds logical on the face of it. But it’s not entirely accurate. McCarthy must be aware that ideological and political approaches exist, indeed he’s championed them on occasion, which seek a significantly smaller state. And he must also know that the dynamic of a decade of cuts, which is near enough what we’re looking at at best, will have its own momentum. And he must also know too that commentators who eschew the baroque and hyperbolic, such as Michael Taft, have strong analyses which suggest that extended periods of ‘austerity’ are indeed in the offing due to the overall economic context.

Once is never enough.

Remember May Day? May 31, 2012

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30/31 odd days ago. Seems like most forgot it in the Houses of the Oireachtas…

Deputy Gerry Adams:     Today is May Day. I remind the Labour Party of that.
An Ceann Comhairle:     We would like to hear about May Day. Is the question about May Day, Deputy?
Deputy Gerry Adams:     Yes. Éist agus beidh eolas agat, a Cheann Comhairle.
Deputy Pat Rabbitte:     Does Deputy Adams want us to dance around a tree?
Deputy Dinny McGinley:     It used to be a big day in Moscow.
Deputy Gerry Adams:     In Irish mythology, as the Taoiseach knows, this is the beginning of summer. It is a time of transition and of purification. It is also the day when trade unions and working people across the world unite in solidarity and support of workers’ rights. In this State, however, Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Labour Party are about the work of austerity and the erosion of workers’ rights. The European Trade Union Confederation has rejected austerity and the austerity treaty.
Tá a fhios ag an Taoiseach go gcuirfí austerity and an conradh níos mó brú agus cruatán ar dhaoine atá ag obair agus ar a dteaghlaigh. Ag an am chéana, tá a lán oibrithe gan chearta ar bith.
In Vita Cortex which the Taoiseach visited, Wilson Publishing, Lagan Brick and, in my own constituency, in Vodafone, Diageo and Irish Cement, workers are having their rights trampled upon. In Vita Cortex the workers are on the 138th day of a sit-in.
Tonight, Sinn Féin will bring forward the Protection of Employees (Amendment) Bill 2012. On this May Day, or Lá Bealtaine, which is a time of purification and transition, will the Taoiseach commit the Government to supporting the Bill and to working constructively with Sinn Féin to close the loopholes some employers have used to ride roughshod over the rights of workers?
The Taoiseach:     I met Vita Cortex workers some time ago and the matter was raised in the House on numerous occasions. The workers told me that what they really requested was respect for the long years of committed and diligent service they gave to the firm. I am aware of a number of recommendations that have been made and I understand that even in the past week or ten days, recommendations have been put, without prejudice, that might bring about progress.
This is not the only situation where difficulties have arisen, and continue to arise. The Government is anxious to use all the facilities of the State’s machinery to resolve these problems. I am aware of the intervention of the courts in respect of the Vita Cortex workers. Some recommendations have been made there. It is important, not only to have such facilities but that they be seen to work and to bring about successful conclusions.
The Vita Cortex workers have put in an extraordinary campaign. Their comment to me was not the usual one about money. In their case it is about respect. They deserve that.
Deputy Gerry Adams:     They also deserve the legal protection of the State, and they do not have that. They deserve the legal protection of the Government, particularly a Government that has a Labour Party component. Tonight’s Bill will give the Taoiseach the opportunity to start that process. It would need a suite of Bills to give workers the legal rights to which they are entitled.
I visited many picket lines, including the Vita Cortex protest. I am reminded of the Christy Moore song, “Ordinary Man”. People who have given 35 years of service have been told, “Sin é, you are out” and left floundering. Tonight’s debate will provide an opportunity for the Government to sign up and support the Bill.
I know he does not mean it, but the Taoiseach occasionally says Sinn Féin never says anything positive. Here is a positive initiative we have taken.
Deputy Pat Rabbitte:     Hold on while we write it down. What is it?
Deputy Gerry Adams:     I ask the Taoiseach to sign up to support the Bill. It is very straightforward. I presume Deputy Rabbitte will be bolting out of his hole to support the Bill.
The Taoiseach:     I thank Deputy Adams for his reminder that this is May Day and for his reference to mythology and what it stands for.
The Government has considered the Protection of Employees (Amendment) Bill 2012. This is not the best way forward. For that reason the Government will not support what Sinn Féin has put forward as a simplistic solution to this problem.

’tis far from that attitude Pat Rabbitte was reared as regards May Day.

Meanwhile May Day Greetings from the Seanad… and other matters…

<Senator David Norris:     Both.
Senator Darragh O’Brien:     Can one not be both?
Senator Rónán Mullen:     Christian socialist.
Senator Aideen Hayden:     On RTE radio yesterday morning, Karl Whelan pointed out that we would face significant increases in costs in the budget if we do not ratify the treaty, on the grounds that the IMF is only one of our funders. With only the IMF to rely on for funding, and if we did not have access to the European Stability Mechanism, we would have to close our deficit gap very quickly and this would require stricter budgets.
Senator Darragh O’Brien:     That is not correct for this year or next.
Senator Aideen Hayden:     I am not talking about this year or next year, and I do not believe the Minister intended to refer to this year or next. He was being honest with the Irish people, and the people need the Government to be honest with them with regard to what they are facing.
I rose to speak about the 16 year old girl whom Senator Bacik mentioned. This incident occurred in 2009, not 1959. The school in question said it would not offer her a place on the basis that the school was not a haven for young pregnant people or for young mothers. This country has legislation prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of sexual preference, membership of the Traveller community and on a number of other grounds. It is horrifying, in this day and age, that a 16 year old would be refused an education on the basis of either being pregnant or a young mother.
Senator David Norris:     Schools and their ethos are exempt from that legislation.
Senator Aideen Hayden:     We do not know what the ethos of that school was, and I do not care.

Okay, so during the Protection of Employees (Amendment) Bill 2012: Second Stage, there were a few voices who remembered the day… Take it away…

Deputy Peadar Tóibín:    I move: “That the Bill be now read a Second Time.”
How does one follow that contribution? Fáiltím roimh an deis seo an Bille seo a chur os comhair na Dála. Tá na mílte oibrithe faoi láthair faoi bhrú uafásach sa tír seo agus táimid ag iarraidh iad a chosaint tríd an Bhille seo a chur i bhfeidhm. I welcome the opportunity to use this Sinn Féin Private Members’ time to bring forward this legislation. It is timely that the legislation is before the House today, May Day, which is most associated with celebrating the contribution workers have given to society, remembering the sacrifices they have made and recommitting ourselves to equality and social justice.
Deputy Brian Stanley:    As this is May Day, I extend greetings to workers, working families and the unemployed. It is pertinent that we are debating the Protection of Employees (Amendment) Bill on International Workers’ Day. It is not a coincidence that Sinn Féin chose today to introduce the Bill because we are proud of our socialist politics and history of supporting workers in struggle, north, south, east and west. My party has never shied away from supporting workers who are struggling for justice anywhere in the world, whether in support of the Dunnes Stores strikers in Dublin in the 1980s, striking dockers in Liverpool or Ford workers in Belfast. Our politics are about providing solutions for the challenges that face workers in today’s climate of austerity.
Deputy Dessie Ellis:    Ba mhaith liom tacaíocht a thabhairt don Bhille seo. Today is May Day, a day when workers, trade unionists and those who struggle for a better world for ordinary people remember the fights of the past, the victories, the losses, the revolutions and the counter-revolutions, the great men and the great women. It is a day we in Sinn Féin mark and a day that always causes me to pause and think of the great things that have been achieved by working people and the many things we have yet to wrestle from those who seek to hold us back from human progress in order that they can pursue profit and power.

Deputy Seán Crowe:    I suppose 15 minutes seems like a long time, but it is probably longer than the notice many employees received that they were to lose their jobs. I have talked to people who worked in Waterford Crystal, La Senza, TalkTalk, Lagan Brick, Vita Cortex, Game and Wilson Publishing and used this Chamber to publicise their cases. The Minister of State, Deputy Sean Sherlock, is one of the people who replied to my queries and tried to make sense of some of the decisions taken by the employers of these workers. All of the workers involved in these closures were angry and frustrated. In many cases, they had met their job targets and worked extremely hard. They had worked for profitable companies, the finances of which were, in some cases, exported abroad, yet they were told there was no money for redundancy payments. They asked us what we could do to help. As legislators, we raised these anomalies with the Minister and the Minister of State on a number of occasions and asked how some employers could get away with this sort of thing in today’s world.
Other speakers have reminded the House that this is May Day. I think of the 1913 lock-out. What was it about? It was about workers trying to secure basic rights such as the right to join a trade union and have basic working conditions. Those workers were of a different generation and did different jobs and we like to think conditions have improved since, yet many of today’s workers are in the same situation. Some were informed by telephone or email that they were being made redundant. Some heard it in the media, while others were informed by heavies. One young woman told me she had been surrounded by guys as she was opening the shop front and told the business was closed. That is how she was officially informed that she had lost her job. She was trying to keep the shop shutters down, thinking the men were about to rob her employer’s business. She was trying to protect her employer’s stock and premises. When she telephoned head office, she was told, “Yes, your job is gone.” That is not acceptable and I do not believe anyone in the House would disagree with me. People listening at home do not want to see that type of society emerging. That is why Sinn Féin drafted this legislation.

Here’s Sean Sherlock doing everything but actually mentioning May Day by name. Quite some feat given how discursive he was.

Deputy Sean Sherlock:     I am proud to be present today because it is the first anniversary of the announcement by the then president of the Labour Party, Mr. Michael D. Higgins, of his candidacy for the office of President of Ireland. With your permission, a Leas-Cheann Comhairle, I will quote from his statement of that day:

The Labour Party is the oldest party in Ireland and was founded in the year before one of the greatest confrontations between labour and capital in the history of the Irish State, the great lock-out in Dublin of 1913.

He goes on to say:

What was then a poverty stricken and vulnerable movement of labour sought to organise against a version of capitalism that refused the most basic rights to workers, including the very right to organise. That confrontation required courage, tenacity, solidarity and, above all, a commitment to class and history beyond the short-term challenges. We should never forget that. To this day we are the beneficiaries of the struggle of the labour movement of 1913. Moreover, as their heirs we are required to make an analysis of our own difficult times to craft a strategy and to deliver our view of an alternative society with a sustainable and productive connection between economy and society in the institutions that can deliver it.

That man, thankfully, is now President of Ireland. I am proud to be here to say we are continuing, to the best of our ability, on his legacy and vision.
On the legislation, and that particular vision, given the day that is in it, I was glad to see the pupils of the Presentation primary school of Doneraile in the Gallery because we must have regard to their future. It is precisely in the vision set out by persons dating back to 1913, and through persons like President Michael D. Higgins, that such narrative continues. We do our best to ensure there is a future for those children.
The plight of employees in the current economic environment is foremost in the deliberations of Government as it seeks to stimulate the creation of jobs and a return to economic growth. Various high-profile cases that have been widely reported in the media highlight the precarious nature of employment in some sectors at present and the need to ensure vulnerable employees are treated fairly by employers and their complaints adequately adjudicated by the appropriate employment rights bodies of the State.
No doubt the proposed Bill under discussion here this evening is well intended. However, it is impractical in its scope and in terms of what it seeks to achieve. Ultimately, it could serve only to expose the taxpayer and employers to additional burdens while also, ironically, acting as a chill factor to the creation of vitally necessary new employment in the State. We need only go back to one of the original EU directives of 1998 in this area which notes the need “for balanced economic and social development” within the EU.

Deputy Colm Keaveney:    I thank the proposers of the Bill for bringing it forward for consideration. There was some historic reference made to the lock-out of 1913. That great struggle between capital and labour took place not five years before the then president of Sinn Féin, Arthur Griffith, asked the Labour Party to stand down on the basis that workers’ rights in this country would have to wait their day. We have come a long in Irish history in less than 100 years when Sinn Féin is taking a stand in this House in regard to workers’ rights. On 1 May, above all other days, I commend the party in this regard.
The Bill, however, has some technical defects that render much of it undesirable to bring into law.

And… er… that’s it.

And for those waiting to make up their minds… May 30, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

…they could do worse than read this from Slavoj Žižek on Europe and the Greeks… passed on by Wu Ming for which many thanks…

On the choice between SYRIZA amd the right…

And, as is usually the case when a real choice is on offer, the establishment is in a panic: chaos, poverty and violence will follow, they say, if the wrong choice is made.


Here is the paradox that sustains the ‘free vote’ in democratic societies: one is free to choose on condition that one makes the right choice. This is why, when the wrong choice is made (as it was when Ireland rejected the EU constitution), the choice is treated as a mistake, and the establishment immediately demands that the ‘democratic’ process be repeated in order that the mistake may be corrected.

But it’s his conclusion which is most important where he points to a depoliticised technocracy ‘in which bankers and other experts are allowed to demolish democracy’.

We’re more than half way there already.

RTÉ woes… May 30, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Irish Politics, The Left.
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Pat Leahy has a really interesting piece on RTÉ, and he outlines how even now in the second decade of the 21st century it has a reach that other media can only envy. Two particular facts comes to the fore:

Look at it this way: in last year’s general election, 2.2 million people cast their votes. The Prime Time lead-ers’ debate attracted just short of a million viewers. In 2010, in the British general election, 30 million people voted, but the BBC’s leaders’ debate attracted just over eight million viewers.
RTE’s reach in Ireland is vastly more than the BBC’s in Britain. Half a million people regularly watch the 9 o’clock news.

This really is a stunning footprint (proportionately). On a somewhat personal note I don’t have cable any longer – it was cut accidentally by a builder and I’ve never bothered to get it reconnected and depend upon RTÉ player and suchlike either to see a programme while being broadcast or afterwards. I’ve got to admit I like the sense of detachment – as well as the lowered blood pressure by not having it broadcast into the house at regular hours.

Anyhow, consider too the Presidential debate – though one suspects that precisely what many politicians are considering. That was handled appalling badly. There there was a perfect storm where the station’s need to appear on top of new media, incisive, arguably overly provocative and so on combined and in a way that the latter overwhelmed the programme. One suspects that had the tweet been removed from the fray this would still have been a watershed moment in the campaign and not to the benefit of the then leading candidate, but it wouldn’t have left RTÉ so exposed.

Leahy also, rightly, points to a reality that isn’t expressed often enough in all this. He notes that Pat Rabbitte isn’t overly keen to see ‘RTÉ suffer lasting damage’ from the Fr. Reynolds programme. But he notes that:

Rabbitte – like most of his ministerial colleagues, sources suggest – wants to see RTE taken down a peg or too. They want to see it have a little less power. Some of them want to see it have a lot less power. That view will only intensify, the more unpopular the present government becomes.

For many of us this may appear laughable given how closely RTÉ has echoed the orthodoxy. But it is true that as an oppositional pole RTÉ can provide a counter narrative – albeit one that, to use a short-hand, is more similar to the S. Ross world view than any we might identify with. And consider this too. As was put to me recently, Fine Gael loath Ross regarding him as an apostate. That’s a small and specific example, but it demonstrates quite well why they, and indeed the LP, are keen if at all possible to push back RTÉ as much as is possible. A bloodied RTÉ would suit them quite well.

As Leahy concludes:

The evidence of the new director general Noel Curran, as well as interviews he has given, suggests that he understands the need to be contrite and to change the way RTE has done things on some programmes. But he shouldn’t be fooled by the constant refrains of politicians that they don’t want RTE’s journalism compromised or damaged. Actually, that’s exactly what a lot of them would like – a reduction in RTE’s power.

Will that happen? Perhaps not entirely openly, but indirectly there’s many ways that that could be accomplished from giving extra support to competing organisations to certain deregulations. This raises interesting questions. I’m always leery about the weakening of any state organisation or subsidiary, and despite the cosy centre right (and sometimes right of centre) consensus at Montrose, it has its part to play. But, that requires a very very clear-headed analysis both of what RTÉ is, what it potentially could be – and the gap between the two. And what the broader media area is becoming.

Tom Doodle May 30, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
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John B Keane passed on ten years ago today.
This is a photo of a rally held in Listowel for the election of ‘Tom Doodle’. Prior to the 1951 General Election John B Keane had set up a fictitious political party, the Independent Coulogeous Party, complete with a fictitious candidate, Tom Doodle, who appeared at a ‘Monster Rally’ in Listowel. The picture is from that rally.

Fergal Keane Writing about Tom Doodle

This is John B Keane Talking about Tom Doodle

(I posted this myself a few years back)

Referendum Commission Alternative Booklet from éirígí May 30, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Thanks to Vladimir Lenihan and Ciarán for drawing attention to this document issued by éirígí on the Treaty. Nice piece of work. You’ll find it here…


Mr. Congeniality… Enda Kenny and FG’s future… May 30, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy, Irish Politics.

Here’s a thought. Backroom in the SBP examines Enda Kenny and finds the following:

Fine Gael was in a parlous state after the general election of 2002. Losing 23 Dбil seats and down to 31, commentators speculated on its future in the same terms that are applied to Fianna Fбil today. It is doubtful if any other leader could have saved the party except Kenny, who applied his huge campaigning energy to crisscrossing the country, energising supporters and charming those he met almost on a one-by-one basis. His efforts eventually bore fruit.

Is that true? Would no other leader have succeeded as Kenny has? It’s a most interesting question. Certainly Kenny had/has an emollient quality that is lacking in his putative rivals. To name them is to see why they might not have been quite suitable for the top job in FG. Bruton? Too clearly right wing, too ‘efficient’, Noonan, too much of the past. And so on and so forth. The younger generation can be counted out entirely. Varadkar hadn’t got in the door of the Dáil in 2002. Hayes, had been in the Dáil in 1997, lost his seat in 2002 and returned in 2007, but in a way his star has never quite climbed in the way some thought it might. He’s there and God knows, he may be leader some day, but it will be by default rather than as an expression of any great enthusiasm in FG.

And Kenny, it must be admitted, has – for a man avowedly of the right, a chameleon like quality to not so much blend in with the scenery as disappear from. I don’t want to overstate things. This is probably not the most right-wing government this state has ever had, at least not in ideological terms, though in terms of outcomes it is no slouch. But Kenny is of the right and further right than many might realise.

In a sense this is the genius of his persona. It’s difficult to quite grasp it.

And Backroom makes some good points:

But after nearly 15 months in government, it is time for Kenny to kick on to a higher level. As was inevitable when leading a government cutting spending and raising taxes, Kenny’s personal popularity ratings have started to tumble.
While his own and Fine Gael’s numbers are by no means disastrous yet, there is every chance they will continue to slide. This means that there is a much greater likelihood of confrontation and argument with disgruntled voters wherever he goes, and the consequent media furore that always accompanies these.


So when the referendum campaign winds up later this week, Kenny and his advisers might want to take stock of whether a recalibration of the Taoiseach’s activities might soon be in order. Whatever about the referendum outcome, the polls have turned against the government parties. It is difficult to see any way in which they might go up again much soon, as further tough measures remain to be implemented.

Or ever one might add to the ‘might go up again much soon’. But this is true and it’s a fact that is often unstated in the polling analyses in the media. I would be staggered if there was a significant recovery in the LP vote, at least anything that would put it where it was at the last election. And while that holds slightly less true for FG because of class and demographic aspects of their support, it still remains true enough.

The sunny days of 2011 are now gone, and not to be returned to.

And Backroom makes some further points worth reflecting upon:

As worrying for Kenny is that, if Labour’s fortunes decline faster relative to Fine Gael, it will make the smaller party both more irritable and assertive. Time spent galloping around the country might be more productively spent behind closed doors massaging colleagues’ fragile egos and building government collegiality.

This could prove to be a real problem for Kenny. It’s not that I have any illusions that there will be an outbreak of leftism in the LP, although the noises off may take on that hue. More likely it will be a centrist populism that will be the expression of LP ire with the government. Expect, perhaps, something along those lines now that the LP has hit 10 per cent in a poll (only one poll, they will say, and they will be right, but one is all it takes to indicate where they may be heading and it is sharply away from the electoral territory where they received almost 40 TDs – consider that Adrian Kavanagh suggests the LP would be on 14 seats with the results of the MRBI poll, 22 with the results of RedC Both above and below the Waterline: Varying results for Fine Gael-Labour coalition in Sunday Business Post-Red C (26 May) and Irish Times-Ipsos MRBI poll figures).

Within Fine Gael, Kenny’s position for the moment certainly is secure. He has promised a mid-term reshuffle and there are ambitious groups of current junior ministers and 55 other Dбil parliamentary party members with their eyes on bigger jobs.

Secure so far the writer could have added. I’m always reminded of the end of Jack Lynch in national politics when the term ‘secure’ comes up in the context of major party leaders. 1977 saw him deliver the strongest FF mandate ever. Within two years he was gone (granted he did not want to return to contest another election and had suggested 1980 as the year of his departure, but even still. Commanding positions have an unfortunate habit of becoming anything but). But yes, he’s alright so far, though he’s also a leader who has an unfortunate history of division not that far behind him. And let’s not forget that within twelve months of the last election there was an heave against him.

There are an awful lot of people Kenny has to keep on his side and in close contact with. That is another reason to do more work behind closed doors.

Disappointingly Backroom doesn’t really go into details as to what the work might be. Perhaps s/he doesn’t know any more than you or me.

This will entail getting under the engine of his government and mastering the detail of how it all works, something he has been able to get away without doing so far. Several ministers and their senior staff are deserving of closer scrutiny from the top.
Summer is on the way. Kenny and his advisers could use it productively to work out a strategy, as opposed to just tactics, for his leadership of the country. Photocalls have some role to play, but they are no substitute for strategic leadership.

All that may be necessary, but it doesn’t quite address how it fixes the problems already outlined. Strategic leadership doesn’t strike me as the solution to falling poll numbers or a testy partner in government or a restless back bench.

But perhaps the truth is that there are no solutions to those issues.

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